9 Can’t-Miss 4th of July Celebrations

Travel experts recommend fun, festive destinations where your family can celebrate Independence Day with more than just a parade.    

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Photo by Steve Kelley/Getty Images

New York City
"Color this New Yorker biased, but nothing says the Fourth of July quite like the largest fireworks display in the country. Grab a seat in Brooklyn Bridge Park to watch the show over the East River, then keep the celebration going all weekend long with a trip to the Statue of Liberty and the new modern immigration exhibit at the Peopling of America Center on Ellis Island."
-Caroline Hallemann, associate digital editor for Travel & Leisure

Washington, DC
"Every family should spend at least one 4th of July here, catching the spectacular fireworks display from the National Mall."
-Carol Kain, Travel Expert and Expedia Viewfinder

Key West, Florida
"Not only does Key West know how to throw a grand party, but the weekend of July 4th is also the Key Lime Pie Festival. So you can have epic fireworks over the ocean and a slice of pie too."
-Rachelle Lucas, Founder and Editor of The Travel Bite

Maine
"Mid-coast Maine is the ideal July 4th getaway. You can hike in Camden Hills State Park, take in some art in Rockland (don't miss the Farnsworth Art Museum), and have your pick of top-notch restaurants. Salt Water Farm, Primo, and Francine Bistro are a few top picks. Book a room at the stylish Camden Harbour Inn—and order the lobster Benedict for breakfast."
-Brooke Porter Katz, Travel and Food Editor for Travel & Leisure

Boston, Massachusetts
"Boston, hands down. The free Boston Pops concert on the Esplanade, followed by fireworks over the Charles. It doesn’t get more patriotic than that."
-Matt Villano, Family Travel Expert and Expedia Viewfinder Editor

Upstate New York
"When I think of July 4th, I think of open fields, a gathering of friends, and the smell of charcoal and grilling burgers. In upstate NY there are so many great spots to find these moments, but the place I keep coming back to is the Spruceton Inn. Located in the heart of the Catskills, this 9 room motel-style inn was restored last year by owners Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg who made the move to the Catskills from Brooklyn. The end result is a modern yet rustic inn, equipped with a bar, barbecues and fire pits, breathtaking views, and a creek perfect for swimming. Grab your friends and head to Spruceton Inn for July 4th; revel in the beauty of nature, master your barbecue skills, and celebrate a part of America that has a rich history and finds itself at the forefront of culture and creativity today."
-Emma Tuccillo, Founder and Creative Director of And North

Walt Disney World
"Your kids will be so excited to visit Disney and even more excited to learn that their fireworks display is even more magical than ever on this day. It will be hot in Florida during this time, of course, so plan pool time and a trip to Typhoon Lagoon."
-Matt Villano, Family Travel Expert and Expedia Viewfinder Editor

Austin, Texas
"So many barbecues where family and friends can celebrate the 4th under shade by day and twinkly lights by night!"
-Trish Mc Cloy, Travel Expert and Expedia Viewfinder

San Francisco, California
"Pack a basket of picnic-like snacks for dinner, grab a sourdough loaf at Boudin in Fisherman's Wharf, and catch the fireworks over the bay and Golden Gate Bridge. Plan to go early to stake out your spot and enjoy some of the live entertainment around Ghirardelli Square and the waterfront."
-Rachelle Lucas, Founder and Editor of The Travel Bite